Hello!!! New Mommy of cream legbar chicks (and spraddle question)

Fire Ant Farm

Get off my lawn
May 5, 2015
South Texas
Howdy from south Texas! I am new Mom to solo one week old cream legbar pullet (her two sisters didn't make it), and as of this morning, 3 additional CLs (gotten to be companions for Paula - two pullets and one roo). I'm new to chicks and chickens, but have been reading all I can here.

I have a spraddle question (I will also post this elsewhere, but I figured I would put it here, too, since I'm saying hello).

Background: Bought three CL chicks from My Pet Chicken (1 roo, 2 pullets). New chicks hatched and shipped Monday (from Mansfield, OH, so presumably, from Meyer), picked up at post office today at 8:15am, all look healthy so far, no weaklings/runts (I had one in last batch), no pasty butt. When opening the box, I noticed that the roo was tucked under the wing of one of the pullets and leaning against her. I thought he was just huddling with her, but he came out of the box with one leg slightly off to the side and favoring/putting most of weight on the other (not bilateral spraddle). He seemed kind of miserable/uncomfortable and didn't want to drink - the human medical analogy that came immediately to mind was dislocation of one hip that happens in some infants (not sure that fits, but it as what it looked like). Little chickie knees seemed a little reddish, but not excessively so, and both seem the same degree of pink (see photo below). I went about getting all ready to hobble him per instructions I've read here and elsewhere, and while I'm sure my bandaging wasn't great, I think I got it right. (Could be wrong, maybe the piece was too wide? I didn't get good photos, since I was anxious to get him back to heat.)

He went from being able to get around with a limp to not moving around at all, not drinking and mostly falling over and looking even more miserable. I did leave him hobbled for about an hour - I set him under the Ecoglow upright and made sure he hadn't fallen over. He still refused to move or even drink with the hobble on, and I worried I was overreacting, and even making things worse since it did get a little bit better in the short time before I bandaged. So I decided to take the vet rap off and watch him. He's getting around and now drinking on his own and eating like a little pig, and some of the time when he stands and walks (to and from water, standing at feeder), both legs/feet are aligned appropriately under him. But he sometimes favors one leg, and he stands with one slightly to the side. Interestingly, both his knees remain reddish pink. Photos below:

Right out of the box, ~8:30 am (Both knees are similarly reddish-pink, his sisters have no pinkness around the knees)

Miserable little boy with hobble on. Photobomb by one of his sisters.

Sometimes he stands like this, sometimes both feet are under him appropriately.

On one hand, I understand that if significant, these things should be corrected as young as possible. On the other hand, hobbling was really stressing this chick out and keeping him from drinking, and he seems to be able to get around ok right now. Should I just do watchful waiting? Wait to do physical therapy until he's a few days older (and not fresh from shipping stress)? (I already feel bad putting him through that...) They just got unpacked about 3 hours ago...

I'm inclined to watch carefully at first, but I'd be interested if anyone has seen this and/or has opinions.

- Ant Farm
Thanks! Just as follow up, it does sort of look like a very mild/corrected slipped tendon - regardless, he moves around a little more slowly than his sisters, but continues to improve throughout the day, walking and standing straighter and straighter, eating, drinking, and napping. When I took him out again a little while ago to check and put him on a washcloth, he immediately took 4 or 5 very straight steps toward me, so I figure it's now time to leave the poor guy alone for the rest of the day. There's some occasional crying that I can't always figure out (he's warm under the Ecoglow) - though he does it sometimes when his sisters leave him. Maybe he's sore? Will watch...


- Ant Farm
Thank you!

I cross-posted there - thanks!!!

- Ant Farm
I wonder if he could have little bandaids on the sore parts of his leg - not as a hobble, but hopefully to help the areas heal. Otherwise, he sounds like he is progressing at his own pace.
They're not actually raw - no broken skin/wounds. Just flushed a little pink under the skin.

Unfortunately, he's now pretty lethargic. I can't get him to eat or drink, and when I pick him up to give him little drops of water by hand (with Nutri-Drench), he won't open his eyes. I think there may be something more going on (he also cried a lot yesterday). It's heart breaking - he so sweet. I'm trying to keep him going.

- Ant Farm

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